Activity Plan 3-4: Let's Make Puzzles!
Children's thinking expands as they puzzle about how shapes fit together
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Math
- resealable sandwich bags
- old magazines and calendars for cutting
- glue sticks
- stickers or rubber stamps
- markers and crayons
- large poster paper
- adult scissors and child safety scissors
Objective: Children will make their own puzzles to develop creative-thinking and fine-motor skills, and visual and spatial perception.
Drawing Puzzles Give the class drawing materials and oaktag. Explain that they will design their own puzzles. Ask them first to draw a picture. They can make family drawings, self-portraits, or drawings relating to a theme or project the class is studying. Invite them to share their work after everyone has finished. Then, assist children in cutting their drawings into puzzle shapes. Can they put their drawings back together? Now invite them to trade puzzles with a friend. Place their puzzle pieces in individual plastic bags and write their names on each bag. Place puzzles in the math area where everyone can work on them. Keep puzzle-making materials available and encourage the class to continue making their own puzzles.
Collect a variety of full-page pictures from magazines and old calendars. Invite each child to choose a picture to make into a puzzle. To encourage language development, ask them to describe the picture they chose and why they like it. Then, children can glue their picture on a sheet of oaktag. Next, assist children in cutting the pictures into puzzle shapes. Invite everyone to assemble their puzzles and then share them with their classmates.
Invite the class to work in small groups to make number-matching puzzles. Give each child a sheet of oaktag with a number written on the left side of the page. Invite children to make a zigzag or squiggly line to divide the page in half. Give them drawing materials, stickers, or rubber stamps. Ask children to identify the number on their page and then place the same number of stamps or stickers onto the right side of the page. Give them child safety scissors and have them cut their paper in half by cutting along the line they drew. Mix up everyone's puzzle pieces and invite children to match the number puzzles.
Curriculum Connection: FAMILY INVOLVEMENT
Geometric Collage. Place a variety of pre-cut geometric paper shapes, a glue stick, and paper in a paper bag along with a note for families. Ask families to work with their child to make a picture with the geometric shapes and to create a story about their picture. Invite children to share their pictures and stories with the class the following day.
Colors, Shapes, Sizes, and Opposites Book by Angela Wilkes
Monster Math Picnic by Grace Maccarone
The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds